After being out several months due to injury, bantamweight up-and-comer Dwight Joseph was able to return to action in June and has since picked up two straight victories.
As Joseph puts it, the long process of recovery never got him down, as he always believed he’d be able to return and perform as he had prior to the injury.
“I injured my shoulder and had to get surgery to fix that shoulder and rehab and all of that, so overall I was sidelined for about nine months,” Joseph told MMAWeekly.com. “In March of this year, I was able to get back out to California and get back training. About a month and a half after that, I had my first fight.
“I never lost hope. Maybe I’m a positive, upbeat, person, but I didn’t think it was the end. When you suffer an injury like that, you wonder how strong it’s going to get and how you’re going to bounce back, but I always felt like I was going to go through the surgery, the rehab, and bounce right back.”
While he was curious to see how his surgically repaired shoulder would hold up, Joseph feels as good as he ever has and feels the time off was ultimately beneficial to him.
“Coming back after nine months I felt better,” said Joseph. “I felt better mentally, I got healed up physically, and I feel like my skills improved even though I was off. It would have been great to have competed during that time, but skill-wise I don’t feel like I missed a step.”
Joseph (5-1) steps up to the biggest stage of his career thus far when he takes on Steven Merrill (4-1) in a main card 135-pound bout at LFA 25 on Friday in Omaha, Neb.
“I don’t really know much about Steven, but I approach this fight like I approach every fight: I take it seriously and train as hard as I can,” Joseph said. “It’s an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking to go out there and put on a great fight.”
After having lost so much time due to injury this past year, Joseph is eager to make up for lost time and take his career to new heights in 2018.
“It’s always fight by fight, but I’m looking to advance my career,” said Joseph. “I’m hoping to get this fight in and hoping it opens some doors and opportunities come up. As long as I’m healthy, I’m going to keep knocking fights out.”